Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney
Laws about estate settlement vary from state to state, so we strongly recommend that you prepare your estate plan with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
If you don't yet have an estate planning attorney, ask your friends, family, or accountant for a trusted recommendation.
To help find the professional who's right for you, consider asking these questions when interviewing potential attorneys:
- Have you practiced estate planning law for at least five years?
- Is at least 75% of your practice devoted to estate planning?
- Not all state bars offer certification in estate planning; if applicable, are you certified?
- Do you carry professional liability insurance?
- Do you offer a free initial consultation to discuss my needs?
- Do you bill on a fee-for-service or an hourly basis?
Answering questions ahead of time can save you time and money. Use our estate planning checklist to help you decide:
- Who will inherit your assets?
- Who will take care of your minor children, and what is needed for their care and education?
- Who should manage your financial affairs if you are incapacitated?
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends that you consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.
Restrictions apply and certain expenses may be excluded—consult your tax advisor for details.